There are only a handful of authors whose books I will buy full price: Lisa Kleypas, Mary Balogh, Julia Quinn (although she’s really pushing it these days), Liz Carlyle, Loretta Chase and sometimes Lorraine Heath. Some authors I’ve only recently discovered and had to dig through piles at used book stores in order to find anything (Candice Hern, Connie Brockway). There was a time when I spent hundreds of dollars buying books at Barnes and Noble, books I looked forward to reading, books I was told were masterpieces, books that SUCKED ASS! You learn the hard way and believe me, after the major flops I’ve had to endure, so will the authors and publishers. Be afraid AVON; be very afraid!!!
I demand quality writing. Obviously, I’m a blogger so my posts aren’t getting edited by anyone before I click PUBLISH; I don’t have a team of editors or advisors or agents telling me to nix a post idea or what not, so one cannot really expect much from me (although I do hope you get some enjoyment from my blog). Avon publishes a lot of great books. Lisa Kleypas stands strong in the midst of Stephanie Laurens’s Cynster mess and a few other authors are merely going through a rough patch. I understand this. However, I don’t understand how a publishing company would allow their name to be attached to something that isn’t fit to grace a book store’s shelves.
Prices for historicals today range anywhere from $5.99 (rare) to $7.99 (I almost had a heart attack when I saw this one…and the book sucked, too…what a joke!). For $7.99 you expect a novel capable of transporting you into an alternate universe filled with plenty of good sex, hot heroes, intelligent heroines and humor. Instead, most of the time, you end up with a story you merely skim, forget you were even reading or end up just closing and selling to a local used book store.
I used to be one of those who’s only outlet for romance novels was BORDERS or BARNES & NOBLE. No longer. Today, I’m a UBS girl all the way (except for my faves…I will take a risk with them). Since becoming one, I’ve managed to accumulate hundreds and hundreds of books I will one day hopefully read…hard to find books, books that I think might be good because I like the cover, challenging books, fluffy and flighty books…it really doesn’t matter. They’re cheap and, if they stink, I can return them and trade them in for another. It’s easy, pain-free (for the fan) and it drives a point to authors whose works have deteriorated in quality and only disappoint.
I live in San Francisco. Unfortunately, all the book stores here have snobs as owners because none of them have romance novels. I kid you not. I spent a Saturday looking for one here and couldn’t find one. Lots of Science Fiction walls. Honestly, why Sci Fi gets more respect than romances is beyond me. In any case, when I want to go to a UBS, I go to a little one in the East Bay where my folks live and get all I want. The store is amazing and the lady loves me (duh!). Recently, I discovered another used book store gem.
A friend of mine, fellow romance lover, for months has been ranting and raving about her UBS. Yesterday, I decided to take the ferry over to her place and check this one out. My friend WAS NOT exaggerating…the book store is incredible! We went to two actually and they’re both awesome. 7 books for $6.75. Yes, I kid you not. I couldn’t even buy ONE historical, let alone SEVEN, for that amount these days. My lunch was more expensive than seven books. I still cannot get over it. How is this possible? I am still so very excited about this discovery. I plan on going there more often…quite possibly even renting a car to get there (like most San Franciscans, I have none).
What’s the moral of my story here? Ok….I’m longwinded, I know, but quite simply, don’t waste your money on authors who disappoint you over and over again or even authors you’re not quite sure of. I learned the hard way…hundreds of dollars spent on books that insulted my intelligence, made me wince and gave me acid reflux. Just not worth it. Trust me! Check out your local UBS and please don’t trust all the author website reviews (perfect example: Julianne Maclean’s site includes an excerpt from a review written by someone with her last name…obviously a BIASED relative); try independent review sites, like AAR (good one) or even Mrs. Giggles (if you want a good laugh). Whatever you do, don’t shell out more than eight bucks for a book, unless you 1) are the author’s #1 fan, 2) like the authors’ books in general, 3) think the author is a peach and want her to make some money. Just think: the less you pay for one book, the more books you can buy and enjoy. Thank me later!